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(The Consumerist)   American college students finally reach #1 status. Make that reach $1 trillion in student loan debt. Duke still sucks   (consumerist.com) divider line 87
    More: Ironic, students, master status, Consumers Union, for-profit college, mortgages, private student loans, debts, trade schools  
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1761 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Nov 2013 at 3:30 AM (21 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-11-14 02:14:49 AM
Go to the school with the cute girls or guys. Everything else will follow.
 
2013-11-14 03:11:36 AM
Can we address the hyper-inflated pricing model in education instead of simply complaining about the unscrupulous methods which students are being overcharged?

What is occurring now is the inevitable end game in a capitalist market. There are fewer and fewer jobs available due to ever increasing efficiency across all markets, and in turn employers gain leverage in the labor market and can demand more qualifications with lower pay. Thus just to get a foot in the door requires a minimum of a B.A.

Universities in turn gain leverage with increased demand, and are able to charge almost whatever they want. This has become a form of price gouging, because education has become requisite for most people to climb above the poverty line. Universities will do what any good soldier does in a capitalist market and charge the most the market will yield. Effectively that amount will equate to roughly every dollar of disposable income for the next twenty years, making college just barely worth it on average.

Overhauling the loan industry may help reduce the demand for universities and in turn drive down costs somewhat, but this is a backwards way to bring down costs and likely temporary solution. In the meantime students will be turned away because they can't pony up the funds.

Furthermore denying people an education because they cannot afford it is not the mark of an equitable society. It is however the mark of a society with a lack of social mobility, and drawing an ever more visible line between the haves and have nots.

At the core though we must create regulation and send teams of accountants into these universities that receive public funds and unlock the mysteries of their books. Where is this money going? It's difficult to imagine they aren't wildly profitable given an honest assessment of costs.

If in the unlikely scenario costs are real and they merely squeak by each year then we need to address how this substantial revenue base is being squandered. Ultimately the end goal must be to make college education as cheap as possible while maintaining standards, and if this means implementing tough regulations to drive down prices then so be it.  Reining in these universities is unlikely in the short term, but probably eventually necessary. Unfortunately our federal and state governments are increasingly intractable, and until the situation becomes dire nothing is likely to change.
 
2013-11-14 03:32:05 AM
$100,000 of that is mine.  thankfully i was allowed to sell myself into 2 years of slavery to the federal government and they're gonna pay back most of it for me
 
2013-11-14 03:36:55 AM
Mayo, your post is long and iPad cannot quote well, but...

We do now where the money is going. It's going to administrators and administrative functions. Ask any teacher in any school (public or private, university or kindergarten), and that's the answer.

/the only efficiency in capitalism is in getting money to the rich. Socialism should exist to counteract the bad of capitalism. Unfortunately, we forgot that rule once the Berlin wall fell.
 
2013-11-14 03:37:57 AM
Erg, I swear I hit the k before "now" at least three times trying to fix that.

/yes, I hate the ipad sometimes
 
2013-11-14 03:44:21 AM
Because your Masters in Female Studies or "Doctorate" in philosophy is totally worth a hundred grand. Good going.
 
2013-11-14 03:48:07 AM
*shakes head* I don't forget how lucky I am that I was able to get a Bachelor's degree, half of it at a local community college, the other half at a public university, whilst still living at home... I can't even imagine how I'd cope at this time if I had student debt to pay off, as well... I have a sibling with a Doctorate, and even though they're earning six figures, they'll be paying off that $200k+ student debt for DECADES... scary stuff.
 
2013-11-14 03:48:49 AM

robohobo: Because your Masters in Female Studies or "Doctorate" in philosophy is totally worth a hundred grand. Good going.


Yes, because everyone unemployed only has a BA in English and a PhD in Women's Studies.

/dude, it's an old, inaccurate talking point. Academia should not be driven by the market place. Get a new one, quick.
 
2013-11-14 03:50:37 AM

robohobo: Because your "Doctorate" in philosophy is totally worth a hundred grand. Good going.


God forbid we have people that know how to think logically.  That sure didn't get the ancient Greeks anywhere... /s
 
2013-11-14 03:58:19 AM
And yet students at schools like Georgia State and Kennesaw State continue to vote by large margins to increase their mandatory fees to support football teams that have no prayer of ever covering their own costs. Say what you will about the evil for-profit schools but at least they do away with all the unnecessary bells and whistles. Too bad they often also do away with providing a quality education but if you could mix the two models, students could get more value for their money. Sadly those schools would likely go out of business since for too many students the "college experience" is more important than lower costs or education quality when selecting a school.

/Seriously, what kind of screwed up system requires football payments in order to take a biology class?
 
2013-11-14 04:07:59 AM
Duke sucks. For twenty bucks. Back behind the dorm. No, Duke's not gay. Duh! Duke just need to pay off Duke's student loan.
 
2013-11-14 04:08:20 AM

MayoSlather: Can we address the hyper-inflated pricing model in education instead of simply complaining about the unscrupulous methods which students are being overcharged?

What is occurring now is the inevitable end game in a capitalist market. There are fewer and fewer jobs available due to ever increasing efficiency across all markets, and in turn employers gain leverage in the labor market and can demand more qualifications with lower pay. Thus just to get a foot in the door requires a minimum of a B.A.


Actually, the "capitalist" market for colleges ended a few decades ago. Back then it was near impossible to get a college loan so many colleges didn't require as much is payment. A full college tuition back then was equivilant to today's semester. What happened was inflation, the requirement that EVERY button-masher should have a Bachelor's (something that -should- be stopped IMO), and the out-of-control spending habits of the administration (Got 20 million to spend folks, build a new lunch hall, and hire a pianist!).

Universities in turn gain leverage with increased demand, and are able to charge almost whatever they want. This has become a form of price gouging, because education has become requisite for most people to climb above the poverty line. Universities will do what any good soldier does in a capitalist market and charge the most the market will yield. Effectively that amount will equate to roughly every dollar of disposable income for the next twenty years, making college just barely worth it on average.

Easy way to fix the price gouging: Make OJT and high school diplomas minimum requirements vs college diplomas. Drop the idea that only a bachelor of custodial arts can sweep a floor. Make college more for those who need -real- higher learning (ie our scientists, mathematicians, doctors, etc). Limit the pool, and the price can easily drop. That's one start.

Overhauling the loan industry may help reduce the demand for universities and in turn drive down costs somewhat, but this is a backwards way to bring down costs and likely temporary solution. In the meantime students will be turned away because they can't pony up the funds.

Here's my issue: Why does every Tom, Richard, and Harry need a Bachelor's? If their GPA is less than lackluster, why would they need to go to college just to take the same failing courses for them they took in high school? Another thing wrong: colleges are basically -still- having to reteach the kids High School courses they didn't get right the first time.

Furthermore denying people an education because they cannot afford it is not the mark of an equitable society. It is however the mark of a society with a lack of social mobility, and drawing an ever more visible line between the haves and have nots.

Here's a better idea: Look at the curriculum, and the majors. See which ones are needed. I bet items like "Liberal Arts" and "Botany" might not be there.

At the core though we must create regulation and send teams of accountants into these universities that receive public funds and unlock the mysteries of their books. Where is this money going? It's difficult to imagine they aren't wildly profitable given an honest assessment of costs.

Actually, one of the main issues is colleges spending too much. Cut the spending first.
 
2013-11-14 04:10:21 AM
I'm lucky I live in Australia. It's getting worse here, but still a long way from the horror system you have in the US.
 
2013-11-14 04:19:20 AM

Iplaybass: I'm lucky I live in Australia. It's getting worse here, but still a long way from the horror system you have in the US.


Well, one social structure has to suffer so sociologists and statisticians have more opportunities to study a failing system and put their degrees to work! :-P

/seriously though, this country needs help with it's education and showing people that funding it is a good thing, otherwise colleges will only turn out football stars who only care about the letters U S & A!
 
2013-11-14 04:24:07 AM
And economists wonder why millennials aren't buying cars. They simply can't afford it when they have to pay $400/mo in student loans. My own loan load is light by comparison for having gone through with a Master's degree.
 
2013-11-14 04:26:56 AM

People_are_Idiots: Here's my issue: Why does every Tom, Richard, and Harry need a Bachelor's? If their GPA is less than lackluster, why would they need to go to college just to take the same failing courses for them they took in high school? Another thing wrong: colleges are basically -still- having to reteach the kids High School courses they didn't get right the first time.


That's more an issue with the high schools, and in particular 'No child left behind' - my sister has been teaching college English for several years now and every semester she complains about at least a handful of students who were clearly passed through the system without real education in the basics of writing a paper and the like.

Here's a better idea: Look at the curriculum, and the majors. See which ones are needed. I bet items like "Liberal Arts" and "Botany" might not be there.

While I'm semi-inclined to agree, a lot of liberal arts classes SHOULD be part of what students have to take, just maybe not offering degrees in it. The English classes at least, though, need to remain required, because I'm tired of seeing illiterate morons on the internet... and history. Also I say this as someone who goes to a school that offers degrees in forestry, agriculture, and environmental science, Botany isn't completely useless :D
 
2013-11-14 04:38:12 AM

EngineerAU: And yet students at schools like Georgia State and Kennesaw State continue to vote by large margins to increase their mandatory fees to support football teams that have no prayer of ever covering their own costs.


My school double-downed on the football program - completely against alumni sentiment - and tripled enrollment, and more importantly state-wide prestige. I still can't believe it. I voted against it, I'm still wary of it, but damn.
 
2013-11-14 04:45:39 AM
Am I the only person who, when faced with inadequate funding for school, just didn't go? I could do the math pretty easy and see that no matter how good a job I got as an engineer, I didn't want to live off ramen for ten years paying off a loan debt. So, I looked at other avenues when my skill set could be used.
 
2013-11-14 04:52:09 AM

jayphat: Am I the only person who, when faced with inadequate funding for school, just didn't go? I could do the math pretty easy and see that no matter how good a job I got as an engineer, I didn't want to live off ramen for ten years paying off a loan debt. So, I looked at other avenues when my skill set could be used.


I'm there now. I started an application for graduate school, but at this point I can't even afford the application fee. Lots of people are screaming FAFSA at me (I would so qualify), but unless I can get a free ride, I can't go, and I'm not sure how much FAFSA will cover at the graduate level. I've put in an email to the admissions officer to let her know about my situation, but I'm not sure if they will be able to help. For whatever reason, I've never been able to access that glut of scholarships some people talk about; the only one I got was because of testing I took in high school.

I've never done loans though, and never will. My fiance and I screamed bloody murder at a friend of ours who decided to use 5K from his loans to buy a new guitar. Now that he's graduated and looking at the bottom lines, he's regretting not listening to us.

We may be dirt poor now, but just by sitting and doing nothing, we may end up far better off than our peers in 20 years.

/small comfort now, but I'm the kind that can wait patiently for that kind of payoff
 
2013-11-14 04:53:31 AM
It's sort of hard to get worked up on it when the gist of the article is directed at people too stupid or lazy to bother figuring out how all that shiat works.
 
2013-11-14 04:58:18 AM

MayoSlather: Can we address the hyper-inflated pricing model in education instead of simply complaining about the unscrupulous methods which students are being overcharged?


No.
Didn't do it for health care or law. Won't be doing it for education.

/I expect the advice here will be to tell them they need to save more and take out bigger loans.
 
2013-11-14 04:58:21 AM

People_are_Idiots: Actually, one of the main issues is colleges spending too much. Cut the spending first.


You show a lack of understanding about economics. The fees are not high because the colleges are spending too much, if they would spend less they would still charge the same; because they can!

That's also why investments are valued not in how they improve the education, but how they are able to attract more students.
 
2013-11-14 04:58:40 AM
They should either do away with the last two years of high school or the first two years of college. You're essentially getting taught the same material.
 
2013-11-14 05:01:36 AM
In a related story, colleges are now basically cash cows retailing degrees certificates of debt that ensure your employer that you will do anything up to and including sucking dick behind the dumpster because you are officially hitting the ground running with enough un-dischargeable debt to cripple your chances for ever getting ahead of the game.  You're a customer.  And the guy in front of you and the guy behind you is gonna be getting the same paper towel certificate and he will present it with a similar posture of "ACHIEVER HERE!" as you will at the interview you might get this year.  Welcome to "get it any way yo can and keep it" America.  Higher education is only useful in growing economies.  Not stagnant ones.  Ha ha.  You wanna slice of the pie?  Open a business and beat your brains out at it until it breaks even and starts paying a comfy profit.  Working for other people makes them rich, not you.
 
2013-11-14 05:07:29 AM

jayphat: Am I the only person who, when faced with inadequate funding for school, just didn't go? I could do the math pretty easy and see that no matter how good a job I got as an engineer, I didn't want to live off ramen for ten years paying off a loan debt. So, I looked at other avenues when my skill set could be used.


There's something to be said for that with college costing what it does these days. If I had to do it all over again at today's college costs (I graduated 20 years ago when college was MUCH cheaper), it would definitely be a tougher decision to make.

If nothing else, I commend you for at least thinking about it before getting yourself in the hole... seems we hear a lot these days about people that did not do that and now they hold huge debts for degrees that don't pay well enough to ever make them financially sensible.
 
2013-11-14 05:12:25 AM

jayphat: Am I the only person who, when faced with inadequate funding for school, just didn't go? I could do the math pretty easy and see that no matter how good a job I got as an engineer, I didn't want to live off ramen for ten years paying off a loan debt. So, I looked at other avenues when my skill set could be used.


Yay for you.  Most people, when looking at the job market and applying around, realize that they can't even get a secretary position or anything that pays more than minimum wage without at least some college coursework or having an outstanding network already in place.
 
2013-11-14 05:12:43 AM
MayoSlather:


At the core though we must create regulation and send teams of accountants into these universities that receive public funds and unlock the mysteries of their books

Attack a bloated bureaucracy with....a bloated bureaucracy?  And one that could be corrupted by the very institutions that it's charged to investigate?  No.


The problem, quite simply, is supply and demand.  Everyone has to go to college to get a job (as you state).  Everyone has all the money in the world to do so (by merit of student loans and federal aid).  Demand is heavier than supply.  Prices go up.

The way to reduce cost is to ease the demand set.
  a) Reduce the availability of funds to the demand set.  Reduce the grant money.  Tighten up the terms of the loans (many ways to do this).  Demand eases up, prices flatten out.  But that won't fly with a lot of parties

  B) Make it so people don't have to go to college to get a job. You don't need a 4 -year BA to do low-level administrative work.  You don't need a BS to do a lot of low-level STEM-related work.  You need to have some intuition and some vocational training.  Loosen the locks on getting a job without a bachelors degree.

B is the way to go.  It would also
  - get young people into the workforce earlier.  We will need the tax base to pay for the decrepit baby boomers in their retirement
  - get young people, no longer sidled with 10s or 100s of thousands of dollars in debt, having kids and buying houses.  And spurring other economic growth.

There's a discussion out there that we've already passed "peak education" - enrollments are dropping because they're just aren't as many kids going to school anymore.  As such B) may just start happening on its own sans any major change in policy
 
2013-11-14 05:12:49 AM
1. How much of that $1 trillion is owed by people with paint in degrees? Just curious...

2. I have one semester left in my MA (in history). If I go through with it, I'll pay with student loans. Cost for one semester: $8,000 (approximately). What is sad is that I'm actually debating whether it's worth it to add that to the $7,500 I owed from my BA. Less than $20,000 for an AS, a BA (earned simultaneously with the AS),and an MA, and I can't figure out if it's worth it. I have friends who owe $30k and didn't even graduate. What the fark is wrong with me?
 
2013-11-14 05:13:51 AM

maram500: 1. How much of that $1 trillion is owed by people with paint in degrees? Just curious...

2. I have one semester left in my MA (in history). If I go through with it, I'll pay with student loans. Cost for one semester: $8,000 (approximately). What is sad is that I'm actually debating whether it's worth it to add that to the $7,500 I owed from my BA. Less than $20,000 for an AS, a BA (earned simultaneously with the AS),and an MA, and I can't figure out if it's worth it. I have friends who owe $30k and didn't even graduate. What the fark is wrong with me?


Edit: ...with painting degrees?
 
2013-11-14 05:17:36 AM
MayoSlather:

What is occurring now is the inevitable end game in a capitalist market. There are fewer and fewer jobs available due to ever increasing efficiency across all markets, and in turn employers gain leverage in the labor market and can demand more qualifications with lower pay. Thus just to get a foot in the door requires a minimum of a B.A.

We got a bright future ahead of us, don't we, folks?
 
2013-11-14 05:18:14 AM
And, fwiw, here is the best possible advice I can offer anybody looking at a small business as a means of support.

Keep your start up debt and overhead as low as possible.

Find an assortment of wholesale products that are cheap to buy, easy to mark up and are destroyed in use.  It helps if they are addictive, necessary or attractive. Food, beverages, tobacco, alcohol, paper products, hygiene, fast hot foods and pastry.  Stuff at any grocery or bodega.  Buy low, sell at the prevalent market rate -3% and rotate your stock.  Hire kids who aren't thieves or f*ckups and middle aged unemployed to work the counters.  Buy a mop and use it.  Get adequate security including surveillance and ballistics glass.  Your customer base is going to be some largely sketchy locals who rarely get to the airplane hangar grocery stores.  In four to seven years, you can roll the joint over, with inventory, and still have your best years to pursue other things with about 200k in your pocket and no debt.

This, btw, is why the guy who knows 40 words of English and owns the grimy C store up the block drives to his suburban home in a 2012 Audi and you're driving your mom's old minivan.  You make a lot of money 6.99 at at time, about 70 times a day.
 
2013-11-14 05:22:06 AM
My advice for anyone who is currently taking out student loans, or has to take them out to go to school:

The MAXIMUM amount of student loans you take out for your education should NOT exceed what you can REASONABLY expect to earn your first year out of college.

e.g. if your degree field pays $30k/year to start on average, then you shouldn't take out more than $30k in student loans TOTAL to get your degree.

If you cannot meet the above, please consider other means of making education cheaper (community college, military service, etc). Or possibly a different major or career field. DON'T just take out the loans and "worry about paying them back later".
 
2013-11-14 05:23:37 AM

MayoSlather [TotalFark]

Smartest
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2013-11-14 03:11:36 AM

Can we address the hyper-inflated pricing model in education instead of simply complaining about the unscrupulous methods which students are being overcharged?

What is occurring now is the inevitable end game in a capitalist market. There are fewer and fewer jobs available due to ever increasing efficiency across all markets, and in turn employers gain leverage in the labor market and can demand more qualifications with lower pay. Thus just to get a foot in the door requires a minimum of a B.A.

Universities in turn gain leverage with increased demand, and are able to charge almost whatever they want. This has become a form of price gouging, because education has become requisite for most people to climb above the poverty line. Universities will do what any good soldier does in a capitalist market and charge the most the market will yield. Effectively that amount will equate to roughly every dollar of disposable income for the next twenty years, making college just barely worth it on average.

Overhauling the loan industry may help reduce the demand for universities and in turn drive down costs somewhat, but this is a backwards way to bring down costs and likely temporary solution. In the meantime students will be turned away because they can't pony up the funds.

Furthermore denying people an education because they cannot afford it is not the mark of an equitable society. It is however the mark of a society with a lack of social mobility, and drawing an ever more visible line between the haves and have nots.

At the core though we must create regulation and send teams of accountants into these universities that receive public funds and unlock the mysteries of their books. Where is this money going? It's difficult to imagine they aren't wildly profitable given an honest assessment of costs.

If in the unlikely scenario costs are real and they merely squeak by each year then we need to address how this substantial revenue base is being squandered. Ultimately the end goal must be to make college education as cheap as possible while maintaining standards, and if this means implementing tough regulations to drive down prices then so be it. Reining in these universities is unlikely in the short term, but probably eventually necessary. Unfortunately our federal and state governments are increasingly intractable, and until the situation becomes dire nothing is likely to change.


You could. Or you could address the real problem. Making terrible choices regarding loans and degrees. But blaming someone else is always easier so go forth and conquer
 
2013-11-14 05:29:14 AM

Iplaybass: I'm lucky I live in Australia. It's getting worse here, but still a long way from the horror system you have in the US.


Yeah, but over there you have hellacious spiders and angry ants.  The joke's on you, pal!
 
2013-11-14 05:30:00 AM
And, so to bed.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-11-14 06:02:50 AM
College degrees are only worth something to others with college degrees. Still doesn't mean you can do the job.
 
2013-11-14 06:07:40 AM
 
2013-11-14 06:10:04 AM

Gdalescrboz: You could. Or you could address the real problem. Making terrible choices regarding loans and degrees. But blaming someone else is always easier so go forth and conquer


I teach at the university level. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are, by and large, just not mature enough to make major financial decisions. However, we force them to and then punish them for the rest of their lives for the (often) stupid decisions they make.

/Yes, I know you didn't because you were so smart and clever when you were eighteen.
// However, we're talking about what most people do and how to deal with it as a society.
 
2013-11-14 06:10:56 AM

Twinkles: People_are_Idiots: Actually, one of the main issues is colleges spending too much. Cut the spending first.

You show a lack of understanding about economics. The fees are not high because the colleges are spending too much, if they would spend less they would still charge the same; because they can!

That's also why investments are valued not in how they improve the education, but how they are able to attract more students.


Actually, no, they are high because colleges are spending too much, at least here they are, and a few other places I have seen. When a college throws out last years weights and puts in new ones, or tears a stadium down that was only a few years old for a new one.... that means they have too much money.
 
2013-11-14 06:13:58 AM

eiger
Gdalescrboz: You could. Or you could address the real problem. Making terrible choices regarding loans and degrees. But blaming someone else is always easier so go forth and conquer

I teach at the university level. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are, by and large, just not mature enough to make major financial decisions. However, we force them to and then punish them for the rest of their lives for the (often) stupid decisions they make.

/Yes, I know you didn't because you were so smart and clever when you were eighteen.
// However, we're talking about what most people do and how to deal with it as a society


You are correct. So, how do you deal with it as a society? Well, let's re-read what I wrote. "...you could address the real problem. Making terrible choices regarding loans and degrees. But blaming someone else is always easier..." So, like, talking about the real problem...I don't know how to simplify it any more. Stop talking to each about the loans and loan sharks, and start talking to your god damn kids about the loans and loan sharks.
 
2013-11-14 06:26:11 AM
25.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-11-14 06:34:06 AM
Still making more in a factory than most of my college grad friends. It's pretty much people walking around bullshiatting and pulling pranks on each other and occasionally tending to a running machine. Probably not much different than an office job I'd imagine. I loved everything about computers ever since I started programming my TRS-80 way back in first grade. Spent one summer in a cubicle and it killed it for me with a year and a half to graduate.
 
2013-11-14 07:38:18 AM
That's why I'm glad Georgia Tech has such a great co-op program, and why I recommend it to anyone whom I mentor.  Sure, it took me an extra year, and I didn't spend every summer lounging around in my parents' basement, but I graduated from a well-respected engineering school with not a single penny in debt (and quite a few pennies in the bank).  Plus, I gained a decent bit of real-world experience and could obtain a higher starting salary after I graduated than my classmates who had nothing to show after four years but a piece of paper.

In other words: get a job, ya dirty hippies.
 
2013-11-14 07:58:01 AM

EngineerAU: And yet students at schools like Georgia State and Kennesaw State continue to vote by large margins to increase their mandatory fees to support football teams that have no prayer of ever covering their own costs. Say what you will about the evil for-profit schools but at least they do away with all the unnecessary bells and whistles. Too bad they often also do away with providing a quality education but if you could mix the two models, students could get more value for their money. Sadly those schools would likely go out of business since for too many students the "college experience" is more important than lower costs or education quality when selecting a school.

/Seriously, what kind of screwed up system requires football payments in order to take a biology class?


This.

/lives around the corner from KSU
//considered both for education degree
///nope, not anymore
//back to tech school for more IT crap
/thursday slashies
 
2013-11-14 07:58:21 AM

MayoSlather: Can we address the hyper-inflated pricing model in education instead of simply complaining about the unscrupulous methods which students are being overcharged?

What is occurring now is the inevitable end game in a capitalist market. There are fewer and fewer jobs available due to ever increasing efficiency across all markets, and in turn employers gain leverage in the labor market and can demand more qualifications with lower pay. Thus just to get a foot in the door requires a minimum of a B.A.

Universities in turn gain leverage with increased demand, and are able to charge almost whatever they want. This has become a form of price gouging, because education has become requisite for most people to climb above the poverty line. Universities will do what any good soldier does in a capitalist market and charge the most the market will yield. Effectively that amount will equate to roughly every dollar of disposable income for the next twenty years, making college just barely worth it on average.

Overhauling the loan industry may help reduce the demand for universities and in turn drive down costs somewhat, but this is a backwards way to bring down costs and likely temporary solution. In the meantime students will be turned away because they can't pony up the funds.

Furthermore denying people an education because they cannot afford it is not the mark of an equitable society. It is however the mark of a society with a lack of social mobility, and drawing an ever more visible line between the haves and have nots.

At the core though we must create regulation and send teams of accountants into these universities that receive public funds and unlock the mysteries of their books. Where is this money going? It's difficult to imagine they aren't wildly profitable given an honest assessment of costs.

If in the unlikely scenario costs are real and they merely squeak by each year then we need to address how this substantial revenue base is being squandered. Ultimately the end goal must be to make college education as cheap as possible while maintaining standards, and if this means implementing tough regulations to drive down prices then so be it.  Reining in these universities is unlikely in the short term, but probably eventually necessary. Unfortunately our federal and state governments are increasingly intractable, and until the situation becomes dire nothing is likely to change.


in summary, when you subsidized something, the price goes up.
 
2013-11-14 08:01:55 AM

Twinkles: People_are_Idiots: Actually, one of the main issues is colleges spending too much. Cut the spending first.

You show a lack of understanding about economics. The fees are not high because the colleges are spending too much, if they would spend less they would still charge the same; because they can!

That's also why investments are valued not in how they improve the education, but how they are able to attract more students.


I thought the end result is what's attractive, not how big your... extracurricular facilities are. I went to one college that had nothing more than a 3-lane bowling alley, 4 pool tables, and a small arcade for entertainment. Their food court? $1.75, cafeteria-style, nothing fancy, but good fresh food. The Classrooms were comfy, but like a typical auditorium, nothing more. It worked.

Now I see colleges opening up places that'd rival Main Event/PuttPutt/Malibu. The cafeterias are set up like a restaurant, with pro chefs and pianists. The classrooms are shiny and white, with cushy seating, not like some people would attend in person.
 
2013-11-14 08:06:01 AM

maram500: 1. How much of that $1 trillion is owed by people with paint in degrees? Just curious...

2. I have one semester left in my MA (in history). If I go through with it, I'll pay with student loans. Cost for one semester: $8,000 (approximately). What is sad is that I'm actually debating whether it's worth it to add that to the $7,500 I owed from my BA. Less than $20,000 for an AS, a BA (earned simultaneously with the AS),and an MA, and I can't figure out if it's worth it. I have friends who owe $30k and didn't even graduate. What the fark is wrong with me?


Why are you majoring in history?  I mean, history is my favorite subject in the world... I'm listening to podcasts about Syracuse's (of antiquity) trade policies right now as I type... but how does a History degree make you money?

/Not trying to be a jerk, just pointing out some realities...
 
2013-11-14 08:07:39 AM
(forgot to add) I also think its hilarious that you sneer at "painting degrees" while majoring in History.

ROFL.
 
2013-11-14 08:35:54 AM

Alonjar: Why are you majoring in history? I mean, history is my favorite subject in the world... I'm listening to podcasts about Syracuse's (of antiquity) trade policies right now as I type... but how does a History degree make you money?

/Not trying to be a jerk, just pointing out some realities...


This.  I love history but the options for it as a profession are so limited.  I might audit some history classes or take some night classes for fun but Historian as a career choice is not the best move if yo like eating and  don't want to be stuck in academia.
 
2013-11-14 08:38:36 AM

eiger: Gdalescrboz: You could. Or you could address the real problem. Making terrible choices regarding loans and degrees. But blaming someone else is always easier so go forth and conquer

I teach at the university level. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are, by and large, just not mature enough to make major financial decisions. However, we force them to and then punish them for the rest of their lives for the (often) stupid decisions they make.

/Yes, I know you didn't because you were so smart and clever when you were eighteen.
// However, we're talking about what most people do and how to deal with it as a society.


I think that's a huge part of this.  It's a very unforgiving system.  You're asking 18 year olds to make a decision that will be the defining piece of their financial situation (and a key driver in their overall happiness/fulfillment**) for the rest of their lives.  Once you pick a trajectory, you've got maybe 2 or 3 semesters to change without penalty, as most majors have similar general education classes.  After that you're looking at a huge course load per semester or extra years ($$$$) to finish a degree.

I don't know many 18 year olds that have the experience, maturity, or aptitude to make a decision of that magnitude.  Parents can play a role, but ultimately it's not their decision to make.  Add in the fact that a degree that looked to be a solid pick 4 years ago can turn out to be a major flop by the time graduation rolls around (Outside of most STEM majors which seem to be reasonably sound bets no mater what the economic climate, but not everyone is a fit for those.**)... you might be better off taking the loans out and throwing it all down on the roulette table.

**CSB: As a major in a STEM field (engineering), while it was a sound financial bet, it is significantly less fulfilling that I imagined.  meh. Can't have everything I guess.
 
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